'Inspirational and full of fun' - Year 7 enjoy meeting Dave Cousins

(Bobble) hats off to writer Dave Cousins for braving the recent heavy snow and freezing temperatures to visit Beaumont and help us celebrate World Book Day 2018. In his wacky and energetic style, Dave spoke to our Year 7 students about his life and the experiences that led to him becoming an author. Dave’s anecdotes took us on a hilarious journey, starting with his childhood dreams of being a footballer/Batman/Neil Armstrong, then onto ‘The Comet’ a football-mad comic he wrote and drew himself aged 11, and from there to his Beatles-inspired decision to form a band. Dave told us it was at this moment he became a writer, using song writing ‘as a way of making sense of everything that was going on around me’.  He also talked about his love of reading and how he feels ‘something magical happens’ when you open a book, allowing you to escape into another world.

When Dave decided to have a go at writing a book, he was also juggling the demands of a family and a full-time job, so he got up at 5am every day to write in his attic. This carried on for seven years until he came upon the idea for 15 Days Without a Head. This was his first book to be published and has now been translated into twelve different languages!  Our students were impressed by Dave’s perseverance and determination to become a writer.  His advice to them all was ‘Don’t give up if you find something you want to be. Be stubborn. If you don’t give it a go, you’ll never know.’
Dave introduced his young adult novels to the students, focusing particularly on the inspiration behind 15 Days Without a Head and Waiting for Gonzo which have been described as ‘teen realism with action, humour and heart’. Both books tackle tough issues affecting young people but do so using gentle humour and great characters. Dave explained that, as an author, it is essential to have an emotional connection with an idea in order to be able to write well about it.  In the case of 15 Days, which is about two young boys trying to keep their family together, the inspiration came from an incident Dave witnessed which deeply affected him and compelled him to write the story.

Dave feels that stories work in a powerful and positive way. In his opinion, ‘everyone has a story to tell’ and that it is by sharing our experiences and tales of our everyday lives that we will learn to understand each other better.

After his talk in the hall, Dave signed copies of his books in the library and then, undeterred by the incoming snow blizzard, spent lunchtime chatting to students from Year 7 Book Club. A big thank you to Dave for spending time with us at Beaumont!

Here are some of the things our students had to say about Dave’s visit:

‘Dave Cousins has inspired me to read a variety of books and to be positive about the future.’ Abzana  7R

‘Dave Cousins spent an astonishing 7 years waiting for his publisher to say one word: yes. You don’t need to wait for a yes to read his books - just go for it!’ Mia 7A

‘Dave Cousins was really funny. His life-story pictures made me laugh a lot.’ Lilia 7L

‘Dave Cousins was excellent fun. I liked it when he told the story of his son diving in the swimming pool. He is a legend.’ Henry 7L

‘I really enjoyed listening to Dave Cousins’ funny and interesting speech. I am so glad we had the opportunity to meet him.’ Rosie 7N
‘I was sad he didn’t have time to read from his book. I really want him to come back.’ Rani 7L
'Inspirational and full of fun' - Year 7 enjoy meeting Dave Cousins 'Inspirational and full of fun' - Year 7 enjoy meeting Dave Cousins Reviewed by Beaumont School Library on 17:20 Rating: 5
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